Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

Kite fliers duke it out around India's giant Statue of Unity - in pictures

India’s International Kite Festival has attracted competitors from around the world

Kite flyers from across the globe gathered round Gujarat’s Statue of Unity to show off their colourful creations on Tuesday.

The festival, organised by the local government in the Indian state, marks two months since the inauguration of the 182-metre-high structure.

Hundreds of kite flyers from around 50 countries took part on the first day of the nine-day-long event, which started on Sunday, showing off their wares in the blue skies over the Narmada river.

The Statue of Unity is in memory of Indian statesman Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who was the first deputy prime minister of the country and one of Mahatma Ghandi’s chief followers during the non-violent independence movement.

The festival marks the days in the Hindu calendar when winter begins turning to summer, known as Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan.

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